Birmingham, AL

Population: 212,424

Key findings

  • Birmingham has a Livability Score of 61/100, which is considered below average
  • Birmingham crime rates are 158% higher than the Alabama average
  • Cost of living in Birmingham is 10% lower than the Alabama average
  • Birmingham real estate prices are 32% lower than the Alabama average
  • Rental prices in Birmingham are 2% higher than the Alabama average

Best Places to Live in and Around Birmingham

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Compare Birmingham, AL Livability

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      Birmingham Real estate & Rental prices

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      Birmingham, AL

      While it might not be the capital city of Alabama, Birmingham is certainly a world-class city that offers its residents a very high quality of life. Located in the central part of the state, the city is occupied by over 200,000 residents. The city is Jefferson County's Seat. One of the best parts about the city is the amount of time and attention that local government leaders pay to creating parks. Their Green Space initiative is an award-winning program that has beautified the city and help offset the harmful effects of carbon emissions.

      Home prices in Birmingham are surprisingly affordable, and those who are looking to purchase a home here will be able to choose from new construction to historic homes that have been meticulously preserved over the years. Forest Park, Avandale, Fountain Heights, and Bush Hills are four areas in the city that are popular with those who are looking to buy a home. Birmingham was once home to one of the country's largest iron and steel manufacturing operations, but today health care has supplanted these industries as the largest employer in the area. Many people in Birmingham also work at the university's local campus.

      Birmingham has a lot to offer those who like to get out and explore nature. Within minutes of the downtown area, a hiker or cyclist can get lost on the thousands of miles of trails that weave in and out of the forest. Those who are looking for an entertainment option that is a little bit faster will enjoy watching Indy Car Racing at Barber Motorsports Park. Birmingham is one of the only cities in the south where you can watch these amazing machines race around the oval.

      Interstate 59 is the primary road that is used to travel both inside and outside of the city limits, and residents of the city can also utilize the MAX Transit system if they prefer a public transit option. The service has been lauded for its simple to use applications and low fares.

      The cost of living in Birmingham is low when compared to other larger cities in the south, and the area has a surprisingly high number of amazing restaurants when you do not feel like cooking. Highlands Bar & Grill, El Bario, and Gianmarco's are just a few of the favorites in the Birmingham area. In addition to great dining, the city also has a thriving arts scene. You can take in a musical or enjoy a play in the city. The Birmingham Zoo and Botanical Gardens are great getaways within city limits where you can head to escape all of the worries and cares of daily life.

      Top Rated Schools in Birmingham

      Name Grades Students Proficiency
      Oak Mt Elementary SchoolKG - 370565%
      Oak Mt Middle School6 - 81,12262%
      Princeton Alt SchoolKG - 524055%
      Ramsay High School9 - 1285654%
      Christian Alt SchoolKG - 860352%
      Phillips AcademyPK - 875051%
      Epic SchoolPK - 546948%
      Gresham Elementary SchoolKG - 536242%
      See all Birmingham schools

      Birmingham Reviews

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      Review Birmingham
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      Attractions0/10
      Community0/10
      Nightlife0/10
      Dining0/10
      Shopping0/10
      Do yourself a favor - don't bother

      Attractions5/10
      Community3/10
      Nightlife6/10
      Dining8/10
      Shopping7/10
      I've lived in Alabama all my life outside of a couple of years in Illinois. Birmingham is a very depressing city. The crime rate is high, the job market is only so-so and there isn't much to do outside of a bit of nightlife in Birmingham (and I have to admit they are trying to revamp the downtown area, but it's slow at best). The best thing here is the low property taxes and housing costs. But when you think about a 10% sales tax in most areas, taxes on groceries and a few other things it doesn't really seem as appealing.
      The crime rate in Birmingham is very high and you don't even want to drive through some neighborhoods during the day, much less at night. Compton CA feels safe compared to these areas.

      I think Birmingham has a lot of potential, but the backward southern mindset has held it back and kept it from becoming more like Atlanta and growing rather than staying stagnant.

      If you want to move to Alabama, move to Vestavia, Hoover, Mountain Brook or the Oak Mountain area. Don't bother with "Birmingham." Especially if you have children. The city funded schools are AWFUL. You will find excellent schools within the systems I listed, but none of the Birmingham or Jefferson County schools are well-funded or any good.

      One good thing for many people would be the weather. And I do have to say the landscape is beautiful. Many trees and natural areas. As I mentioned, they are also trying to revamp the downtown area so there are some nice restaurants and interesting night life but it's slow at best.

      If you are not a staunch Republican you will not want to live anywhere but Birmingham city limits proper (which is largely Democratic). It is also a southern tradition to be very nosy and intrusive, so if you value your privacy you might find it difficult to live here, especially in the more rural areas.

      In any case, it's not the worst place in the country to live, but it's not the best. Jobs don't pay very well, the crime rate is high, sales tax is high but you do have the advantage of low property taxes and affordable housing.
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      Birmingham, AL - "Diverse City" USA

      Attractions10/10
      Community9/10
      Nightlife9/10
      Dining9/10
      Shopping8/10
      I am very grateful for the return of tourists, to our beautiful Birmingham, from the April and September tornadoes that cut a swath through many of our neighborhoods. Birmingham, Alabama is within the Dixie Alley or Tornado Alley and we are buffeted with hurricanes and storms coming mainly off the Gulf Coast. Due to its proximity to the central Gulf Coast, makes Birmingham a city which provides Appalachian mountain activities, the best in dining, world famous entertainers like American Idol, Ruben Studdard who calls Birmingham home and a recent Bob Seger concert, and other special events throughout the year.

      Come and join me and my friends for half price bottle and wine Thursdays, at various downtown locations, or free wine tasting Wednesdays, or learn about our environment with daily, nature scope exhibits. The bright lights of Birmingham's nightline city scape, will allow us to parteee' at fun locations as the streets fill with people from all around the world. Birmingham, Alabama offers its visitors antebellum history tours, motorsports parks, museums, zoos, outdoor theatres, river boat tours, theme parks, and much more for family fun and eclectic tastes.

      If you visit Birmingham and decide you want to relocate and live in Birmingham or any of its neighboring towns, your decision is a good one. Our nation's President is looking for youthful inspiration to plan for future trips to Mars, well, Birmingham can offer you jobs in the aerospace and aviation industries. Other Birmingham industries have provided employment for my family and will help your family in the telecommunication field, engineering, soft drink industry and more. A real estate app is available for your iPad to view the affordable homes and rentals among our many idiomatic neighborhoods. My Birmingham has gone through many nicknames, whose present title is "Diverse City," but with all the storms that hit us, we always bounce back, so I am campaigning for a new title of "Birmingham - Forever."
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      Birmingham, AL City Review

      Attractions4/10
      Community4/10
      Nightlife5/10
      Dining5/10
      Shopping7/10
      I lived in Birmingham, AL for fifteen years. During that time, I saw the tail-end of its transformation from a bustling industrial town to a commercial center. While Birmingham is not truly a tourist destination, those who happen to be there for family or business reasons can find ways to entertain themselves should they be willing to spend some time in their rental car. Birmingham itself has little to offer, there are only a handful of things to do and attractions to see in Birmingham. The McWayne Science Center and the Art Museum are a few of the better attractions. There are many opportunities for shopping in Birmingham and some pretty good restaurants in the outlying areas.

      The suburb of Hoover is home to the Galleria Mall, one of the largest shopping malls in the southern United States. It is surrounded by additional malls and shopping facilities, as well as the home of the Birmingham Barons baseball team. An hour to the north is the Huntsville Space and Rocket Center, and within thirty minutes from the airport is the beginning of the Cahaba River. This region is home to the Cahaba Lily, one of the rarest lilies in the world.
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      Reason for reporting
      Source: The Birmingham, AL data and statistics displayed above are derived from the 2016 United States Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS).